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[Comments for Topics] Aziz Khan's Toast for Zhao, Renwei

Reply to the topic: Income Distribution Books Launch and Professor Zhao Renwei 80th Birthday
Comment Time: 2013/12/23 6:01:11 |  Recent Response Time: 2013/12/23 6:01:11 |  Read Times: 7768 |  Following: 0
Author: struggle12 |  Tags/Keywords: 赵人伟; Zhao, Renwei

 I still have clear memory of my first meeting with Zhao Renwei. It was 5 June 1990. We were meeting at the Economics Institute of the CASS to discuss the organization of research using the recently-completed first round of the income distribution survey. This was my first meeting as a member of the group. At the start of the meeting I was introduced to the Director of the Institute. I was expecting to meet a person who would exude authority and power. Instead I met an archetype of unpretentious simplicity, soft-spoken and mild-mannered to the point of appearing shy.


Since that first meeting I have met ‘Lao Zhao’, as we got used to calling him, regularly over the years during my many visits to China. I also got the opportunity of knowing him intimately when he came to Riverside as a visiting researcher in the department of economics for several months in the mid-1990s. On several Sundays we had him as the sole luncheon guest at our home when he and I would talk for hours about China’s economy and society and his own life experience. I gradually discovered a man of profound wisdom, deep compassion and great humanity behind the façade of almost childlike simplicity.


I consider myself very fortunate in knowing and benefiting from the friendship of the man that Lao Zhao is. On this occasion celebrating his 80th birth anniversary I wish him long and productive decades ahead.  I have no doubt that we have much more to learn from him. “Lao Zhao: Unfortunately I am missing your 80th birthday celebration; how I wish I would still be around not to miss the 100th!”


Aziz Khan

New York, December 2013

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